Master of Architecture

ARCH7001 S01 | ARCH7001 S02 | ARCH7002 S01 | ARCH7002 S02 | 7003 S01 | ARCH7004 SS | ARCH7004 S01 | ARCH7004 S02 | ARCH7005 S01 | ARCH7006 S01 | ARCH7007 S01 | ARCH7016 S01 | ARCH7017 S01 | ARCH7017 S02 | UDAD7006 S02

ARCH7001 S01

Architecture and Commerce
Students were asked to critically analyse historical and emerging housing typologies that premised an idea of collective living. Brisbane’s inner-city suburbs are increasingly under pressure to deliver high quality housing that also makes a positive contribution to the public realm. Against the housing affordability crisis backdrop, new markets have opened up in recent years for ‘microliving’accommodation models that offer an attractive mix of location, convenience, shared amenity, security, flexibility and community. The studio aimed to provoke architectural outcomes that challenged industry norms and urban planning frameworks.

ARCH7001 S02

Architecture and Commerce
Students were challenged to radically reconsider retail in the age of Amazon, Alibaba, Ebay and the Coronavirus through the lens of the circular economy. Students tackled this challenging task on two fronts: firstly, by interrogating new typologies for retail in an era of online shopping and, secondly, by investigating construction types which integrate the principles of circular design. Whilst design strategies proposed should be transferable
to the global retail phenomena, detailed responses evolved from the particularities of the suburban project site in terms of issues such as climate, demographic, code compliance and construction logic. The outcomes were highly adventurous and ultimately achievable.

ARCH7002 S01

Institutions and Ideology
Within this studio, campus ideologies investigated the university as an institution, and its relationship with the city. Through speculative enquiry the studio focused on Sydney and the precinct surrounding its Central Railway Station. Students explored the potential transformational consequences that would result from building a deck over the station’s rail yards. An urban campus proposition was developed for the precinct in the first half of the semester with a key building and urban space elaborated in the second.

ARCH7002 S02

Institutions and Ideology
21st century cities have competed for ‘city’ status, premised on the city as a unique destination offering novel allurements. High and low cultural experiences are promoted alongside liveability, creativity, investability and sustainability - all ‘-abilities’ are dimensions of assumptions about the ideology of growth and consumption. Pandemics, amongst other environmental and social impacts, have forced planners and designers to re-evaluate this growth ideology premised on the dogma that economic expansion is for the good of all. The studio invited students to critically probe the ideology of growth by reimagining master planning at the scale of the regional city, proposing to disentangle unviable elements of their civic, cultural and educational institutions under new paradigms. The projects utilised an existing institution within a regional centre and, under an extreme scenario that would require degrowth, designed a response to enable a controlled approach reflecting designed ideology incorporating degrowth and envisioning a positive new civic institution within that centre.

ARCH7003 S01

Adaptive Capacities
The studio explored the potential of the industrial shed ‘type’ as a catalyst for the rejuvenation of an urban enclave and in so doing tested possible strategies and limitations for the role of architectural design solutions to respond to the ‘climate crisis’. Through this, the studio emphasised ‘places of production’ as a means to embed an authentically sustainable community and to promote a renewable ethos. The site is adjacent to the Northgate suburban train station in Brisbane’s northern suburbs and comprises three large industrial sheds built in the 1950s by Queensland Rail. The Studio emphasised the ethical and the local with an opportunity to integrate a 100% renewable bio-methanepowered CHP energy plant with integrated community uses.


Dwelling and Density
Housing is often simultaneously visible and invisible in the city. Depending on how you measure it, housing makes up almost 70% of the fabric of the city. Opportunities to unlock or re-imagine the city exist even in modest housing projects. At this point in time, the housing market is predicted to change with more build to rent housing entering the market. The character and scale of build to rent projects opens up opportunities to reimagine the fabric of parts of the city and how we live in the city. A large Queensland State Government priority development area, Hamilton North Shore, was used as a testing ground for our ideas. This location and brief has the potential to create a new community with future focused aspirations, close to the city and with easy connections to regional transport networks and the airport.

ARCH7004 S01

Dwelling and Density
Students were challenged to address Weller’s provocation through investigations into the opportunities offered by low-rise, high-density housing - the “missing middle” - to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of derelict precincts of the city. Through the design of socially and environmentally mindful housing solutions on selected sites in close proximity to the historic core of Ipswich, students addressed questions related to: issues of scale versus density; clarity in the legibility of boundaries and thresholds; public and private, individual and community spaces; liveable cities at a time of climate change, though principles for the design of space and form to achieve an acceptable building micro-climate; the role of the building edge as a zone of transactional space and form, mediating near and far, and limiting and giving legible identity to community space.

ARCH7004 S02

Dwelling and Density
The studio aimed to identify and implement design strategies within the constraints and opportunities of housing. The strategies formed questioned the developer driven determinism of current housing projects. In so doing students looked beyond the conventional modes of urban analysis to develop an understanding of landscape, urban morphology and typology, for design propositions that celebrated the narratives of daily rituals and explored the connection between the architecturalness of building design and its fit with, and production of, the city. 

ARCH7005 S01

Architecture and Landscape
This studio explores the relationship between architecture and landscape through a small but detailed building proposal situated in the rural village of Xia Mutang in the Chinese province of Jiangxi. The proposals for a tea house is the start of a collaboration with CBC as part of their program of built works situated in rural villages throughout China. The aim of the program is to provide new educational and employment opportunities for rural villages that try to redefine the role of contemporary rural villages as China continues to develop and evolve. Although current travel restrictions prevented the studio from following through on the build in 2020, the studio outputs will be re-visited once the opportunity arises and we will build a version of one of the studio designs with students and CBC.

ARCH7006 S01

Utopian Urbanism
Architects have long been fascinated by the narrative of Noah and his ark, that appeared in numerous ancient sources including the Bible and the Quran. The story of Noah’s Ark is well-known: instructed by God, Noah builds an ark in order shelter all of the animals (and his own family) from the great deluge that would last forty days and forty nights. This deluge, and the subsequent flood, were to cleanse humankind of its corruption, and allow the earth the opportunity to regenerate—repopulated only by the species that were offered refuge on the ark. This parable of Noah’s Ark has taken on new significance in recent decades, as scientists forecast the catastrophic effects of climate change. Taking inspiration from scientific prophecies of climate calamity, the narrative of Noah, and the ark as an architectural archetype, participants in this studio will be invited to make an urban proposition for an “ark” to provide refuge for the year 2050. Within this studio students explored historic visions of the apocalypse, the ark as an architectural and cultural archetype, as well as historic schemes for utopia. 

ARCH7007 S01

In the future, Brisbane has been affected by a catastrophe resulting in significant loss of life. The catastrophe and aftermath came to be known as “The Event”. The loss of life in Brisbane profoundly shook the citizens and many began to question their everyday lives and ideas of normality. This included a reassessment of what their city actually was, what it should do, and for whom it might be for. A frame of mind formed in response, which went on to construct a neighbourhood in the destroyed areas. The studio utilises a fictional narrative, in this case an “Event” to be determined by the student. This is a vivid form of an otherwise familiar occurrence: cities are regularly called upon to reassess themselves in response to serious crises: economic, natural, social/political, technological, etc. The crises are destructive, but are also opportunities for regeneration and change. It is a space for the architect as protagonist.

ARCH7016 S01

Responsive Environments
Students were asked to consider Brisbane in 2030, as Australia is committed to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050 and fully embraces circular design in construction. In Brisbane, the delivery of Cross River Rail, the Metro and increased use of the river have changed the way the metropolis moves. Queens Wharf has transformed the life and character of the city’s North Bank. Students were asked to consider the Riverside Expressway (REX), once an expression of a car monoculture, as a space to be transformed. This involved re-imagining the expressway as a dynamic, sustainable and contributory part of the city; aiding in Brisbane’s reconnection with its river, solidifying the city’s position as a global leader in sustainable urban living.

ARCH7017 S01

Urban Infrastructure
With a population of over 5.5 million, the city-state of Singapore is one of the most advanced urban laboratories of the world. Singapore’s city-making practices are seen by many Asia Pacific cities as a model to achieve today’s most desired “world class city” status. They constitute sources of innovation, experimentation and creativity, able to shape alternative social configurations, and break established norms of dominant urban standards. While working in the cosmopolitan centre of Singapore, students were asked to explore and embrace different urban scales to understand the relationship between the global city and the people inhabiting it. We have focused on the agency of design as a way to challenge large urban and infrastructural plans and as an effective way to give a greater degree of flexibility and empathy to the urban realm.
This studio involved a compulsory field trip to Singapore in February, supported by ELP Grant funding.

ARCH7017 S02

Urban Infrastructure
Our cities are shaped by their infrastructure. While networks of transport, power, water and waste weave their way through the urban fabric of our streets and neighbourhoods, they inevitably connect to spaces of industrial, agricultural and energy production. This speculative studio challenged the idea that such spaces need to be exiled, abandoned and lost to singular functions without any additional amenity or potential for city life to co-exist. In looking at the possibility of hybrid infrastructural futures, there is a chance to envision a city, and an architecture, that is integrated with its infrastructure. The project undertaken invited students to reflect critically on the historical patterns of infrastructure development in the city (and the steady pressure to push it towards the city fringes, and countryside) and to offer speculative solutions to the infrastructural needs of the future—a future in which urban infrastructure and architecture coalesce.

UDAD7006 S02

Urban Futures
The UDAD7006 studio focused on urban design as an art. Whilst engaging a wide knowledge and skill base, the work of the urban designer is driven by the culture(s) in which it operates and is ultimately a cultural activity involving creativity, composition, and intuition as much as it does the utilitarian concerns which it addresses. Students to learn to form proposals which operate at both urban and architectural scales, and consider how these develop over time. Importance was placed on representation, looking at both canonical forms of drawing and modelling, as well as new forms of representation. Knowledge and skills attained in this studio will help equip graduates in careers as professional designers, or equally, as client-side initiators and leaders of projects.